Petefire Artist Blacksmith forge in Herts at Chiswell Green, St Albans, England

All our forge experiences are now indoors

All our Blacksmith Forging Experiences are now indoors at the Petefire Chiswell Green Forge – so we’re not affected by the weather!

Most of the forging experience photos are outdoors. That’s how we used to do it. It was good fun, being out in the open, but it was cold in the winter, and dates could be postponed by rain – or snow!

Another benefit from being indoors at our Chiswell Green Forge is that we can use the more powerful blacksmith forge, making the heat process quicker.

You can get more information from our forging experiences questions page.

You can book Petefire Forge Experiences here: 1 person, 2 person, 3 person, work teams forging experience or a sword forging experience.

What would I make?

People have hand forged a small knife, alternatives might be a fire poker, decorative heart, flower, toasting fork, bottle opener or a bird feeder hook.

People take their forged items home with them.

Parmiters School craft fair

The Christmas Craft Fair has a really good reputation locally.

We’ve been keen to have a stall there for quite a while, and the pandemic stopped us from being part of it at Christmas 2020, so we’re really looking forward to being part of it on Saturday 20th November, 11am – 4pm.

The school address is: Parmiter’s School, High Elms Lane, Watford, Herts WD25 0UU

Please come and say hello if you’re visiting.

Parmiters School craft fair

You can find out more by visiting the Parmiter’s School Craft Fair Facebook page.

Blacksmiths pubs staying open

Did you know that we’ve got a page called ‘Pubs in England named Blacksmiths Arms’?

With the (hopefully) continued cautious reopening the public places in England, it seemed like a good time to do a refresh of our Blacksmiths pubs list.

The good news is that almost all the pubs on our list appear to be staying open.

Pubs called Blacksmiths Arms – Petefire Artist Blacksmith

Some of the pubs appear to have taken the decision to rebuild or refresh their websites – some now have websites were before they didn’t have ones. There will continue to be hard times ahead for English pubs, but it is heartening that almost all on our list appear to be taking hold of the challenges that the post-Covid will bring.

You can click here to take a look at our English Blacksmiths Arms pub list here.

We’re open!

Metal has been hot in the Petefire Artist Blacksmith forge during the Covid crisis.

I’ve had numerous people doing Forging Experiences during 2020 – they were done outdoors with plenty of social distancing.

Some were for one person, there was also a husband and wife, and a father with three school age daughters. He did one forging day with his daughters, and the next Saturday it was just him. He was a plumber and heating engineer and was used to physical work, so wanted a day with just me and him.

There were various metalwork and forging commissions and repairs and during 2020 too.

Petefire Blacksmith Forging Experience sample voucher, St Albans, Herts, England

Quite a few people have bought Forging Experience vouchers hopefully to be enjoyed during 2021.

Want to buy a Forging Experience voucher?

You can buy a Forging Experience right here on the website, or you can contact me with any questions and for bank details.

Hand forged tool maker

Bruce the Spruce the spiral bird bath

Petefire Artist Blacksmith, Watford, Herts 00114

Peter has been making tools since he was in his teens.

Here are a set of hand forged tools used to carve a bird bath from the stump of a spruce tree in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

All of the metal in the tools was reclaimed and repurposed. The wood was almost all from very local sources including Abbots Langley’s Tanners Wood, the orchard at Peter’s previous forge in Bushey and the now closed, long established Bushey wood merchant, so the carbon footprint was negligible. Peter collected and cured most of the wood, with some of it being worked in its ‘green’ state – used soon after the tree had been pollarded or chopped down.

The wood included: oak, ash, apple, cherry, pear and purple heart.

Here are all the Petefire Artist Blacksmith hand forged and wood carved tools.

The copper top is the bird bath, formed from the bottom of a household boiler, and attached with screws.

Petefire Artist Blacksmith hand forged tools Herts, England

Hand forged large axe

Forged by Petefire, handle made from ash, bought from generations-old Bushey wood merchants – now unfortunately closed.

Hand forged scoop chisel

Forged by Petefire, apple wood handle, from the previous Petefire forge in Bushey


Forged by Petefire, from a metalwork file, handle is ash wood

Small hand axe

Forged by Petefire, handle ash wood Bushey forge

Small wide faced hammer

Forged by Petefire, handle is ash, Bushey. Head of hammer made from a jack hammer

Hand forged 12mm scoop chisel

Spring steel, oak from Abbots Langley, Tanners Wood

Light weight bill hook

Ash wood handle, blade: truck / large coil spring

Large adze

Handle is local cherry wood, head from a large piston

Mild steel hammer head

Abbots Langley pear wood handle

Angle faced chisel

Pear wood, spring steel

Small carving knife

Purple heart wood, blade spring steel

Heavy full metal offset knife

Forged from a digger piston

Small hammer

Name Peerie Dinger

Digger pistol, head, locally sourced ash wood

Small adze

Made from a ball pein hammer, hickory wood handle

Petefire Artist Blacksmith hand forged tools Herts, England

Who would have thought so many tools went into the carving of Bruce the Spruce the spiral bird bath?

It was a great project to work on, and a good test of the Petefire hand forged tools.

If you’re looking for a unique tool, or a regular tool, you’re very welcome to get in contact. Peter is happy to meet up and discuss how to make tools for clients, whatever you need.

Here are the various ways to contact Petefire Artist Blacksmith.

Petefire Artist Blacksmith husband & wife forging experience day in Watford, Herts

Who would you bring on a Forging Experience?

A Petefire Blacksmith Forging Experience could be a memorable and enjoyable way to spend some time with a family member or friend.

Petefire Artist Blacksmith husband and wife forging experience day

Testing your strength, skill, dexterity and discipline against some hot metal might show a whole new side to your wife, husband, sibling, mother, father, daughter, son or good friend.

Peter will discuss what you’d like to do on a Blacksmith Forging Experience – he’ll be happy to put a bit more challenge into the day and will keep an eye on how participants are coping with all the aspects of the day.

Some alternatives to making a small knife might be a fire poker, decorative heart, flower, toasting fork, bottle opener or a bird feeder hook.

People take their forged items home with them.

All our Blacksmith Forging Experiences are now indoors at the Petefire Chiswell Green Forge – so we’re not affected by the weather!

We’ve had all kinds of two, three or four person forging experiences, here are some of our people combinations:

  • mothers and school age sons
  • husbands and wives
  • dads and sons (youngest son was aged 7, we have lots of teens and adult sons)
  • dads and son-in-laws
  • daughters and dads
  • bridegrooms and best men
  • mum, dad, daughter & son
  • dads, sons & son-in-laws
Just some of the hammers available for use on a Petefire Blacksmith Forging Experience in St Albans, Herts

Just some of the hammers available for use on a Petefire Blacksmith Forging Experience

School age sons and a mum

On a recent forging experience a mother came along with a 13 year old and 9 year old son. They were surprising fast and coordinated with sequential hammering, where two or more people hammer a piece of hot metal, standing in a circle around the anvil. It’s a very efficient way of getting the most out of a ‘heat’. Each second that the metal is out of the forge sees it cooling and becoming less able to be shaped.

A daughter booked a forging experience for herself and her dad. The daughter knew her dad would love it as he was a massive fan of Forged in Fire, the American tv series, he’d spent his working life as an engineer.

Who would you bring on a Forging Experience? Here’s a photo from a dad and daughter forging experience.

Book a Forging Experience just to watch, learn and talk.

Since an early age Peter has been absorbing all aspects of weapon making, sword, axe, bow and arrow history.

If discussing all aspects of metalworking while watching a knife (which you’d take home with you), being formed using heat, skill and strength sounds like a pretty good way to spend a few hours, book a voucher – or put in a gift request with your family to book a Petefire Blacksmith Forging Experience.

You can book to see the hot metal action and discuss metalworking.

Enjoyable – whatever age you are

An older couple booked a two day forging experience – with the intention of forging house numbers and a small knife. They spent a bit of the first day using the hammers, although the woman realised that swinging the hammers was hard for her to manage.

After discussion with Peter they chose to spend the rest of their forging experience watching the process and discussing and directing the development of the their house numbers and knife.

Although they only spent some of their time doing the physical activity, the couple still had a very enjoyable time and went away with much more knowledgeable about metalworking, its history and the blacksmithing process.

Who would you bring on a Petefire Forging Experience? Here’s a photo from a wife and husband forging experience.

Dad and son forge something different

A woman phone with a specific request for a forging experience. They’d bought a wooden trellis for their garden, but had cut it in half at the top to make it wide enough to fit in with their plans for the garden layout.

Her question was – could she book a forging experience for her husband to metalwork two horizontal bars, strong enough to hold the two sides of their trellis in position.

Peter was very happy to tailor the forging experience to be able to make the trellis bar, and made sure that there was metal that would do the job beforehand.

The dad had been an engineer and really enjoyed being a hands-on part of a different and ancient kind of engineering for a day – they also finished in time to get back for the start of the football!

Buy a voucher for one or more than one – it’ll be good either way

You can have a great one person forging experience, and all our people who come of their own have really enjoyed the day. People who come with one, two or more people also have an excellent time, as Peter will discuss all aspects of historic and modern blacksmithing and metalworking.

If you want to buy a voucher for more than one person, we’re pretty certain that everyone will have a really good day, with some excellent comradeship and maybe a bit of competition too.

You can buy your Blacksmith Forging Experience here.

New Chiswell Green forge – St Albans blacksmith!

Hello! The new forge at Chiswell Green, St Albans is nearly ready to host some hot metal hammering!

Petefire Artist Blacksmith, Chiswell Green, St Albans, Herts, England

Here’s the rustically painted Petefire logo on one of the 4 large doors that’ll be open on summer days, looking out over the lake to Hertfordshire countryside.

Got a metalwork / blacksmith enquiry?

Contact us on, 01923 350596, John 0777 999 1551 or Peter 07854 363630.

Petefire Artist Blacksmith forge at Chiswell Green, St Albans, Herts, England

My connections are with Watford – that’s where I spent my first years until I was 13, we then moved to Abbots Langley. Until spring 2020 my forge was in Bushey, Herts. The new forge is in Chiswell Green – on the outskirts of St Albans, so I’ll be getting to know St Albans a bit more.

We keen to develop local links

We’re keen to make connections with the local community, and want to be identified as a Chiswell Green business. We’ll also be visiting local businesses over the next for weeks to introduce the forge.

Over time we would like Chiswell Green people to become proud that there’s a blacksmith forge in their area.

My work comes from Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans and the surrounding towns and villages.

In the wider area, it also comes from south west Herts, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and north London.

I’m happy to work for people and businesses from anywhere.

I’m proud to now be a St Albans blacksmith! I’m not forgetting Watford & Hemel Hempstead.

You can contact me with enquiries, or to make appointment. Here’s the Petefire Artist Blacksmith contact page.

Petefire forge location

Hanrox Meadows
Blunts Lane
Chiswell Green

Forging Experience questions

We’ve updated our Blacksmith Forging Experience questions page.

Paul’s blacksmith forging experience questions

It’s always a good idea to check what’s on your website – we’ve given our Forging Experience questions page a refresh. This is in response to the questions that are regularly asked. We’re also very happy for people to contact us on email, by phone and on social media.

All our Blacksmith Forging Experiences are now indoors at the Petefire Chiswell Green Forge – so we’re not affected by the weather!

Have you got a question that you think we should add to our blacksmith forging questions page? We’d love to hear from you, you can also contact us with questions.

People have made a small knife, alternatives might be a fire poker, decorative heart, flower, toasting fork, bottle opener or a bird feeder hook.

People take their forged items home with them.

Forged in Fire fan in your family?

Have you been looking for a forging experience for a family member, who’s a bit obsessed with Forged in Fire?

Petefire Artist Blacksmith, Experience Days – for Forged in Fire UK fans

If your family member is a Forged in Fire UK fan, the Petefire Blacksmith Forging Experiences could make a great gift for a family member. They happen in Abbots Langley, next to the Harry Potter Studio, where the films were shot and the Harry Potter experiences happen.

Ready to surprise someone special?
Get your Blacksmith Forging Experience voucher here.

We have experiences for one person, two people and three people. We’re also happy to hear from you if you would like to bring a group along.

Blacksmith forging Experience prices are:

You could be very popular with a Forged in Fire UK fan, if you buy a Blacksmith Forging Experience for a family member or friend.

  • 1 person £120
  • 2 people £205
  • 3 people £275

All our Blacksmith Forging Experiences are now indoors at the Petefire Chiswell Green Forge – so we’re not affected by the weather!

What would I make?

People have hand forged a small knife, alternatives might be a fire poker, decorative heart, flower, toasting fork, bottle opener or a bird feeder hook.

People take their forged items home with them.

Neuroscience collaboration

Hi everyone! My name is Danbee Kim, and I’m a neuroscientist and teacher.

I recently collaborated with Petefire Artist Blacksmith to explore the neuroscience of touch and proprioception as used by artists and crafters, such as blacksmiths, circus performers, and architectural model makers in an event called Dear Neuroscience.

Danbee Kim, neuroscientist and teacher.

The First VIRS book title graphic

I also recently wrote The First VIRS, a science fiction graphic novel that combines current topics in science and technology with a speculation on how the next 100 years might play out. I’ve been a lifelong fan and reader of comics myself, and now I’m hoping to use comics to make science and technology more fun and accessible to everyone, especially for audiences that are currently underserved by traditional forms of science communication.

You can read the chapter 1 teaser for The First VIRS online, or watch our promo video for the project.

If you are also a fan of comics, or interested in connecting science and technology with arts and crafts, please consider making a donation when we launch our Kickstarter campaign on Tuesday, September 24! Your contribution will help us pay our amazing artists and produce nicely-bound, colour-printed physical copies of the graphic novel.

The First VIRS book title graphic
The First VIRS – Chapter 2: Where thunder goes when it dies
The First VIRS book title graphic
The First VIRS graphic novel, Diagram 1: Major neural and glial cell types
The First VIRS book graphics
The First VIRS book graphics
The First VIRS book graphics
The First VIRS book graphics – Chapter 1: Calm before the storm

I hope that together, we can take another step towards making scientific research more open and accessible to everyone. Thanks so much for reading!

…here’s the click-through to the Kickstarter campaign for The First VIRS, science fiction graphic novel website link again!

Watford’s Armistice Day fire beacon

Petefire Artist Blacksmith, Watford 100th Anniversary fire beacon

Smoke, sparks and flames filled the November night air as Watford’s elected Mayor, Peter Taylor lit the 100th Anniversary Armistice Day fire beacon at the south end of Watford Museum’s front garden.

The Watford Armistice Day beacon lighting was one of over 1,000 lit throughout the UK at 7pm on Sunday 11th November to commemorate the end of the darkness of the First World War and a return to peace.

The remembrance ceremony included readings by Mayor Peter Taylor; Hertfordshire’s Lord-Lieutenant, Robert Voss; Watford Borough Council councillor, Rabi Martins and Jan Rees of Watford Arts Society.

Petefire Artist Blacksmith was commissioned to forge Watford’s Armistice beacon by Watford Borough Council. Sarah Kerenza Priestly, curator of Watford Museum said, ‘Watford Museum is proud to support local artists and businesses.’

Petefire Artist Blacksmith, Watford 100th Anniversary beacon

Peter helped on the evening by filling the Armistice Day beacon with wood, and a couple of strategically placed firelighters with a generous layer of wood shavings near the bottom, Petefire also loaned a decorative forged lighting stick, with paraffin-soaked Kevlar.

Watford’s fire station is just across the road on Watford’s Lower High Street and very kindly loaned a long ladder to assist with lighting the beacon – they commented that their job was to put fires out – not to help light them!

Peter Williamson said, ‘We are very proud to have been commissioned to design and make the fire beacon.’

The beacon will be stored along with it’s wooden pole for future commemorative events in Watford.

Petefire Artist Blacksmith, Watford 100th Anniversary beacon
100th Anniversary Armistice Day fire beacon with Watford Museum in background
Petefire Artist Blacksmith, Watford 100th Anniversary beacon
With some of the Watford Museum team Luke Clark, Lewis Butler & Sarah Kerenza Priestley
Petefire Artist Blacksmith, Watford 100th Anniversary beacon

Two Peters – Peter Williamson with Watford’s Elected Mayor Peter Taylor

Petefire Artist Blacksmith, Watford 100th Anniversary beacon
Watford 100th Anniversary beacon lights up the night sky

Making a round headed adze

Recently I was asked to make an adze for a man who wanted to do lots of bowl carving

He’d looked on the internet and tried to find different adzes, he found options but the were waiting lists and complications, then he looked a little bit more locally and he stumbled across our website and decided that he would contact me to see whether or not I’d be able to make him an adze.

Here’s a link to the story

Peter, the ‘adze man’ and the round headed adze

Last weekend of Herts Open Studios 2018

Petefire Artist Blacksmith, HertsOpenStudios Abbots Langley artists map

We’ve enjoyed being part of Herts Open Studios (we’re in the South West Herts area) for the first time. We’re hoping all our artist colleagues have a successful last weekend. We’ve had quite a few visitors and a good deal of interest in our blacksmith forged work. We are really grateful for the enthusiasm that’s been shown by the Hertfordshire artistic community for our blacksmith forged work. We’ve been reliably informed that Herts Open Studios hasn’t had a blacksmith in it’s ranks for quite a few years.

Abbots Langley artists

Our map shows the route for travelling between Abbots Langley artists – Henderson HUB on Abbots Langley’s High Street and Petefire Artist Blacksmith. This will be the last weekend of  our exhibition, we’ll be open on Friday 28 – Sunday 30 Sept 2018, 10.30am – 5.30pm.

Look forward to seeing you if you’re free to come along – the six artists at the Henderson HUB are also worth a visit, there’s also Elvira’s Foyer cafe if you fancy cake and coffee too.

Herts Open Studios

Various blacksmith forged art along with art development drawings

We’re going to be part of Hertfordshire’s annual celebration of art – Herts Open Studios for the first time this year. We’ll be joining almost 70 other artists to showing our art during September.

For Petefire this means showing some of Peter’s decorative swords and axes, kitchen knives and hammers. We’ll also have sketches showing the development of many of Peter’s designs.

Petefire – Herts Open Studios

Bottle openers, cheese knives and heart pendants are some of the small forged items that will be offer for sale. People will also be happy to discuss commissions, if you’ve got ideas for large or small items.


Looking for a gift?

There will be blacksmith forged pendant, cheese knives, kitchen knives and bottle openers available to buy. Prices start from £10, we’ve got a credit card reader if you’ve not got cash.

Petefire Artist Blacksmith hot heart


Forging Saturdays

Peter won’t just be showing his work, he’ll also be forging on Saturdays between 2-4pm. That’s Saturday 8th, 15th 22nd and 29th.




Flapjacks, cakes, coffee and tea aren’t guaranteed – but we’ll be baking regular batches of homebakes. We’ll be collecting donations for the Watford homeless charity New Hope.